PREMIERE: Longtime Punk Christian Padron Resurrects as Sunbeam

Christian Padron has spent years at the back of a band. As a drummer and engineer for ORL punk bands Gross, False Punk, and Direct Effect, he’s been an integral part of the local music scene without garnering as much of a spotlight as the singers of said bands. Now solo under the name Sunbeam, he steps to the front, but in his own way. Unlike the bombastic charisma of False Punk’s Cody Zeigler, Christian himself radiates a mellow vibe–he’s not a traditional frontman. (His personality can easily be exemplified in him always wearing flip flops, no matter the weather.)

The result is Demonstration, a muffled roar. On it, Christian’s voice and instruments vary from aggressive to laid back. And while Demonstration isn’t a complete departure from his punk roots, its sound is much closer to Smashing Pumpkins than False Punk.

Photo by JP Marra.

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BABY’s ‘Pick Me’ is 10 Minutes of Bliss (premiere)

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Kaley Honeycutt. This pop force first came into my knowledge back in 2015, when she was hustling in the the criminally short-lived synth pop trio Island Science. But, as they say, all things happen for a reason, and for Kaley that reason was BABY. This solo project fused Frankie Cosmo-like jangly rock tunes with a perfect aesthetic, brought to life by Kaley’s own design. Now, this pop package has been polished further with the help of Maryland-based record label Yellow K, and she’s ready to take on the indiesphere.

BABY’s debut EP Pick Me is out today (premiered here). It gives you a taste of her infectious, fun attitude, but due to its short runtime, leaves you wanting more sweet ear candy. You want more of the party. You want to watch the music video. You want to see her live. It hypes you up for her future work. She hazily coos like a stoned Zoey Deschanel on the EP’s first song “Home, Sweet Home.” It’s a moment that sums up everything BABY is about, friends, a good time, and a forever summer. She may have moved to Massachusetts, but Kaley still hasn’t lost her Orlando glow. 🙂

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TEDD.GIF – ‘Finder EP’

In 2016, TEDD.GIF released bags of music and established himself as one of Orlando’s top rappers. His most notable project of the year was Lil Mixtape, his take on the turn-up, commercial sound that’s flooded the airwaves as of late –exclusively  produced by Lanlord Collectin.

Finder, a three-song EP strung together in a single track, is TEDD’s most experimental, cohesive release to date. (It’s also probably my favorite.) The sonics blend melty and harsh production seemlessly. And our man is doing what he does best, showing his confidence and desire to go against the grain. Because Lil Mixtape proved he can execute the current sound, now TEDD.GIF is showing more of his own colors. I can’t wait to hear what he and Lanlord cook up for Lil Mixtape 2, out later this season. 

READ OUR INTERVIEW W/ TEDD.GIF.

donkng-daydreams

DONKNG Release ‘Daydreams’ EP (name your price)

DONKNG hasn’t been around long, but they’ve kicked Florida’s ass so hard in 2016. The slacker garage three-piece all grew up South Florida but have all since relocated to Gainesville. Orlando has been lucky enough to pull the boys over a lot this year. They’ve played Spacebar, Uncle Lou’s, and house parties with the likes of Slumberjack, RV, and Maximino. To end a hot year, DONKNG released their first ever recordings, a five-song EP titled Daydreams. 

The first comment on the EP’s  “name your price” Bandcamp page is from “axelito”; it reads, “wow bros, The Strokes cover band? My love for you guys can’t be expressed with five bucks but you know, go hit up that dollar menu or something.” First off, DONKNG is too good for the dollar menu — they deserve steak. But that first bit kinda makes sense. It wasn’t as obvious in a live setting, but Camilo Isaza’s voice has that low, moan that Julian Casablancas’s uses. But, “The Strokes Cover band?” The Strokes suck now, right?

DONKNG feel fresher. Camilo’s vocals are carried by a jangly, midtempo wave. The band’s South Florida shows in their surf rock temperament. Examples of this laidback, innocent nature are the “doo, doo, doos” in “Jesus Christ,” talk of the high school dance in “I Remember,” and the line “You had me on my ass” in “Title Fight.” There are tents of uncertainty and darkness under the cool paint, though. The title track attacks the dated establishment and warns us not to fall in line. “Daydreaming about all the things you could have been.” The young dads have collected a handful of solid pop tunes; it’s easy to hum along, but there’s more to it than just vibes.

Orlando Musicians Make Compilation To Benefit The Center Orlando

City Beautiful: A Compilation For Pulse

Music is love in search of a word. — Sidney Lanier

In the aftermath of the Pulse Orlando strategy, members of the Orlando music community have come together for City Beautiful: A Compilation For Pulse. It is currently listed on Bandcamp under the name your price option, and every dollar paid will go The Center Orlando, an LGBTQA+ safe space that is providing free counseling for anyone who needs it. This 10-track compilation features TVW alumni Boxing At The Zoo, You Blew It, Fortune Howl, BABY!, and Pathos, Pathos, and newcomers Kinder Than Wolves’s Paige Coley, Henrietta, Europa, Mag.Lo, and Goodmorning, Love. Stay strong Orlando. We will shine brighter than ever. I love all of you so much. ❤

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, knwon suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciiation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compasssion, gentleness, and a deep lvoing concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” — Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

The Ashtray Sweat Weather

The Ashtray – ‘Sweat Weather’ (ep review)

The Ashtray is an Orlando garage rock trio whose debut EP Sweat Weather was released just a few weeks ago on April 26. The band features TVW contributor Andres Andrade on fuzzed-out guitar, acting as a thick base for Brendan (vocals/guitar) and Paul (drums) to go absolutely insane and leap off of. Brendan’s vocals on songs like “Late Last Week” and “P I N K” sound like the walls of his throat are caving in. He holds nothing back.

Although a short four songs, Sweat Weather covers a lot of distorted ground, jumping in-and-out of punk, garage rock, noise, Pixies-esque grunge, and sad boy emo–there’s even elements of drone in the walls of guitar I previously mentioned. EPs often get overlooked as the precursor to a full-length album, but I’ve always seen them as band’s compacted mission statement. Four or five really good songs is so much better than an album bogged down with filler. And at less than 10 minutes, Sweat Weather is a great snack of a listen that feels like a journey through noise both past and present. 

Fast Preacher Never Leave

Fast Preacher – ‘Never Leave’

Recorded over the span of two years (March 2014 to March 2016), Fast Preacher’s Never Leave is a musical journey. It changes as much as Dan Hanson must have. Dan, of course, is the sole owner of Fast Preacher Inc. and co-singer/sole guitarist in Orlando/Chicago R&B monster Fat Night Co. His latest is all parts rock, roll, R&B, S&M, funk, folk, man, and beast — Who were you two years ago? 

Two years ago I was living in Orion on Orpington, an apartment complex within walking distance of the UCF campus — I know because three years ago I walked home after a failed date with this girl from my LIT 2 class. But two years ago, I was a junior AD/PR student living with a drug dealer. He wasn’t scary. He was actually pretty nice (to me) for being a drug-dealing douchebag. I smoked his blunt roaches, and we played Super Smash Bros and watched The World Cup on the daily that summer. That might explain why I wrote this favorable review of Mac DeMarco’s Salad Days on April 10, 2014.

See Fast Preacher live at The Vinyl Warhol’s Zine Release this Sunday. 

This theme of change is best encapsulated with Never Leave’s longest, the almost six minute “Envy” — a Zeppelin-like evolution in both styling and structure. The song’s instrumental preface rings like Jimmy Page’s classic riff in “Ocean.” The drums are primal and Bonzo-esque <<< probably the most ridiculous  non-word in history. This dissolves into acoustic guitar with thin, echoed vocals. ” The song then morphs again into something Zeppelin could have made if the were twice as far-out. Sensational.

Over its six songs, Never Leave cycles through contemplation, desire, love, and fulfillment (or lack thereof). In “Tell,” Dan searches for “a new distraction.” This comes in the form of affection from another, a love that progresses in the music that follows. Conflict ensues in the title track; he could see himself never wanting to leave while at the same time comparing his relationship to an agitated scratch. So it goes.